The standalone Flash movie has reportedly found a new director and writer in Andy Muschietti and Christina Hodson, respectively. Muschietti is best known for directing the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful 2017 adaptation of the Stephen King novel It, while Hodson was responsible for the screenplay of last year's Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, which brought the franchise back to life. The two replace the outgoing duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who had worked on the script and were slated as directors on The Flash, part of Warner Bros.'s DC Comics film universe.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to bring word of the new development, with Variety confirming later that Muschietti and Hodson were in talks to board The Flash. Ezra Miller, who has played the DC superhero on the big screen on three previous occasions — 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2016's Suicide Squad, and 2017's Justice League — will continue in the role. If Muschietti is hired, his sister Barbara Muschietti will produce the film, along with Michael Disco, a former executive at Warner Bros.-owned New Line Cinema who founded his own production company back in February.
The Flash was expected to begin filming in March, per a report from last year that pushed its release date to 2021 then, but the film has gone through more script troubles since then. Goldstein and Daley's lighter approach was at odds with Miller favouring a darker tone for his standalone movie. The 26-year-old was so insistent on it that he went out and co-wrote a script himself with comic book writer Grant Morrison, who has worked on The Flash during the 1990s with Mark Millar. Warner Bros. wasn't reportedly pleased with that idea though, which is why it's hiring a new screenwriter in Hodson.
Miller's stay, as opposed to Goldstein and Daley's exit, in addition to horror movie director Muschietti's hiring, would suggest that The Flash might be heading for a darker take. But that needn't be true. For one, previous horror film directors who have found success under Warner Bros. have emerged to helm lighter fare, be it James Wan with Aquaman, or David Sandberg with Shazam!. Moreover, Warner Bros. has had more success with its superhero movies when they've stayed away from being too dark. Case in point: Wonder Woman, and Shazam!, partly.
Muschietti's next film is It: Chapter Two, the sequel to the first one out in September. Hodson is already part of the DC film universe, having written the Margot Robbie-starrer Suicide Squad spin-off Birds of Prey, which is slated to release in February 2020.
Pre-production is expected to begin by January 2020 on The Flash. For Warner Bros., it's one of several DC Comics films in the works, including a standalone Joaquin Phoenix-starrer Joker movie out in October, the aforementioned Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984 slated for June 2020, Robert Pattinson-starrer The Batman reboot slated for June 2021, and James Gunn-directed The Suicide Squad set for August 2021, and Jason Momoa-starrer Aquaman 2 scheduled for December 2022.